Footprints Inc. of Salt Lake City, which specializes in custom information systems for Apple Computer's Macintosh family of computers, has installed a custom data base at the Artificial Heart Laboratory at the University of Utah.

The data base program, which the lab has been testing for several months, is used in management of experimental data associated with testing of artificial heart and assist devices inside the body. The program generates tremendous volumes of information on each test, and correlating the data from one experiment with data from previous experiments is a big part of the job, said Ron Howell, lab project engineer.Earlier this year, Footprints was awarded a contract from the lab to develop a custom information management system to provide a means for entry, retrieval and analysis of large amounts of biomedical data.

The program replaces a similar system previously installed but never widely accepted at the lab. Lab personnel said the earlier system didn't provide the necessary functions and was too difficult for most people to use without extensive training.